Hyperpigmentation around the mouth can be very upsetting, but luckily, it is harmless and can easily be treated. In most cases, people possess good skin except for this bizarre-looking darkening around the mouth. It is a common malady, and people get over this by covering the skin with makeup.
However, you may also want to enjoy your no-makeup look candidly. So, you can get anxious about it sometimes, thinking that I have a beautiful tone except for this dark ring around my mouth.
At Skin Veteran, we believe in helping out our readers to maintain vibrant and healthy skin. This article will take a closer look at what are the possible causes of pigmentation around the mouth. And how you can get over them to bring your mojo back.
What Causes Darkening Around The Mouth?
People with different ethnic backgrounds can encounter pigmentation around lips. However, according to an investigation, someone who has light to medium brown skin is more prone to it.
Usually, an over-activity of melanin-producing cells results in hyperpigmentation around the mouth, and this overproduction of pigment can have multiple causes.
There are multiple factors like excessive sun exposure, medications, and cosmetic products that can contribute to pigmentation, but the following are the most common ones.
1. Vitamin Deficiencies
Vitamins are inevitable because they put on multiple roles in your body. And when it comes to skin specifically, few of them hold more water than others.
According to studies, vitamin B12 deficiency accompanies people to hyperpigmentation around the mouth, eyes, and knuckles. And more commonly, it affects individuals with brown skin shades.
Vitamin B12 is a key component of DNA and cell manufacturing. Therefore, running low on it can badly impact your skin and hair health.
On the flip side, vitamin A, E, and C carry out their duties for the skin in a distinct way. All of them distinctively enhance collagen production and cell turnover. Therefore, their deficiency results in more and more old and damaged skin cells, which ultimately make your face dull and pigmented.
It is the inadequacy of normal red blood cells due to the production of abnormally structured RBCs (megaloblasts) by the bone marrow. Megaloblastic anemia has various causes, but the most common is a deficiency of vitamin B12 and B9.
According to studies, pigmented knuckles and dark patches around the mouth, in most cases, are a result of megaloblastic anemia. However, in some people, these symptoms do not show up.
2. Hyperpigmentation Due to Melasma
Melasma is an uncertain situation that occurs among a wide range of people. Predominantly, it affects women because of their hormonal fluctuations. Only 10% of total melasma patients are men.
According to the literature, a defect in the cells (melanocytes) stirs up melanin generation during melasma, which results in the pigmentation of different face parts. The exact underline causes of it are still unknown to us. However, scientists have observed the following factors as common melasma triggers
- Hormonal fluctuations, especially among women
- Certain skincare products
- Sun exposure
- Ongoing medications
Hyperpigmentation due to melasma is most likely to occur in the following areas of the body
- Around lips, especially over the upper lip
- Bridge of nose
Melasma on Brown Skin
The activity of melanocytes is different in distinct skin colors. People with light to medium brown color skin (Asians, African-American, Indian, Middle Eastern, and Latin) possess more active melanin-producing cells.
Therefore, melasma-induced hyperpigmentation around the mouth is more common among these ethnicities as compared to white people.
How to Get Rid of Hyperpigmentation Around the Mouth?
Your first move towards treating the hyperpigmentation around the mouth should be affirming the exact cause of it. You can visit a dermatologist in this regard, and we also know that everyone cannot afford it. Therefore, reading this article can help a lot.
When you have hyperpigmentation, the ultimate goal for using any product or medication is to lighten it up. Therefore, dermatologists suggest creams and serums that prevent melanin synthesis and increase cell turnover.
By taking on any of the following products and ways, you will notice a substantial improvement in pigmentation around your mouth after a few days.
1. Overcoming Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Vitamin B12 is rarely present in any plant-based food which is why vegans fall short of it mostly. But, you can get it from the following animal-based foods easily
- Chicken, beef, and fish
- Low-fat milk and yogurt
After examining your diet, if you find yourself eating less of the above-mentioned foods, go for a blood test. Upon being diagnosed with B12 and B9 deficiency, eat much of these foods and take supplements as well.
Studies have shown that vitamin B12 deficiency-caused hyperpigmentation is reversible. Therefore, stick with a healthy diet for few months to experience significant improvement in your skin color around the mouth.
2. Creams for Darkening around the mouth
Dermatologists prescribe creams that contain the following ingredients to treat dark rings around the lips. Some of these ingredients like vitamin A, cause exfoliation and induce collagen production. Eventually, it increases cell turnover and replaces old melanocytes with new ones.
- Kojic acid
- Vitamin C
Kojic acid is a potent agent for lightening up dark spots, scars, and sun-damaged skin. It acts to inhibit the action of tyrosinase (an enzyme that catalyzes melanin production). Therefore, it is suggested by studies that kojic acid can be used against hyperpigmentation. Along with halting melanin synthesis, it also depigments the dark skin.
There are multiple medically prescribed products available in the pharmacies. The thing you need to consider before using any of them is taking your physician’s advice. Or evaluate your skin response by applying these products to a small area. And if they do not spur irritation or redness, go for them.
3. Laser Therapy
Laser therapy is a common cosmetic procedure employed for multiple purposes like removing acne scars and hyperpigmentation. A peculiar wavelength of laser light causes minimal damage underneath your dark skin, which activates your immunes system.
Consequently, your body starts producing new cells to replace the laser-affected melanocytes. And they will produce less melanin that results in even skin color around your lips.
Although it is not a permanent solution for getting rid of dark spots around the mouth, it can lighten up your skin fastly for a limited time. So, You can only get everlasting even skin tone around your lips by treating the root cause of hyperpigmentation around the mouth.
4. Microdermabrasion and Chemical peels
Both of these exfoliating procedures are widely opted by people to get rid of uneven skin, acne scars, and wrinkles. Various cosmetic centers in the US offer microdermabrasion and peeling services. However, you do them by yourself at home as well.
The chemical peeling procedure includes the application of a specific quantity of certain organic acids (glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and trichloroacetic acid) to your skin. Your upper skin layer starts peeling off after 2 to 3 days of the procedure and completely peels off in 12 days. It reveals fresh and youthful skin having an even tone.
Microdermabrasion cause minimal damage to the upper layer of the skin. As a result, your body sheds off the damaged old layer and replaces it with a new glowing and pigmentation-free layer.
5. Microneedling for Hyperpigmentation Around the Mouth
Microneedling (MN) is a highly efficacious therapy for pigmentation in which a small device (derma roller or dermapen) carrying a bunch of microneedles causes small injuries to your skin. Ultimately, these micro punctures induce your body to produce more and more new cells.
According to studies, MN has revolutionized dermatology because it renders both therapeutic and cosmetics benefits with very few side effects. It allows you to achieve beautiful skin at affordable prices.
You can perform microneedling at home after buying any of the MN devices. However, for someone who is doing it without any experience, it becomes difficult to control and adjust the depth of microneedles. Therefore, we will suggest you visit professionals at a spa or clinic to avoid any repercussions.
Combining Two Options
Combining two treatment options like undergoing exfoliation (through peeling, needling, or microdermabrasion) along with employing kojic acid or retinol will produce the best results. Also, be mindful while applying kojic acid or hydroquinone because they can stir up irritation on sensitive skin.
DIY Face Mask for Hyperpigmentation Around The Mouth
This organic face mask will help you get rid of hyperpigmentation around your mouth. However, finding the exact cause of pigmentation is inevitable for permanent treatment. Follow these steps to prepare the DIY face mask
- Take 3 tbsp of pink lentils
- Three tbsp uncooked rice
- Two tbsp gram flour
- Two tbsp white flour
- Two grams of camphor
- Grind all of the ingredients to convert them into powder form
- Store it in a glass pot for future use
Take two tbsp of the mixture and add some water to make a thick paste. Now, apply it around your mouth on the hyperpigmentation area and leave it for 15 to 20 minutes. After this time, massage in a circular motion for 5 minutes. The mixture will start peeling off and finally wash with warm water.
Do this for at least two weeks for noticeable improvement in the pigmentation around your lips.
Hyperpigmentation around the mouth can be a result of various causing factors. However, largely, people (mostly women) experience it due to melasma and vitamin B12 or B9 deficiency. Evaluate your condition on the grounds of these causes or visit a dermatologist to discover the crux of it. Examine the above-mentioned ways and select one or two of them to bring your mojo back.